House and Senate will both convene at 4 pm to begin day 18 of 60.

Expectations are for the House to spend all February on the budget. Simultaneously, the Senate has begun its own analysis.  Last week, three university presidents spoke about their budgets to a House subcommittee — UK’s president Eli Capiluoto, new Kentucky State president Dr. M. Christopher Brown II, and Dr. Greg Postel, acting president of U of L. This week: EKU, WKU, and KCTCS. 

Key House leaders said that a final pension plan (now in the works) could come up for consideration as soon as mid-February. Intense review of the plan would put the brakes on most everything else for a few days. 

The legislature is set to meet until the end of March, then adjourn for 10 days as final decisions are reviewed, and the Governor and executive team review bills passed.

In a surprise move, Lexington’s incumbent Robert Benvenuti (district 88), decided not to run again just days before the deadline to file.  Rep. Benvenuti has a highly active law practice, and younger children active in sports which he coaches. Two Democrats have already filed, and one woman has filed on the GOP side, and we also expect Bill Farmer to join the race on the GOP side.  

Brown-Forman, owner of Woodford Reserve, Old Forester, and Jack Daniels, created a foundation worth some $60-70 million to make certain its corporate grants for arts, education and human services are secure for years to come. The company focuses these donations in Kentucky and Tennessee.

Here’s a look at what’s coming up

January 30  Filing deadline for candidates running in the May Primary. All House and 19 Senate seats are up. 

January 30  Louisville night in Frankfort at the Lancaster at St.Clair. Our firm is a cosponsor for the event.

January 31  Deadline to register for the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast on February 6th at Alltech Arena.

February 6  Governor’s Prayer Breakfast at Alltech Arena. 

February 16 Legislative Calendar- Last day for bill requests

February 20  Special election to fill House District 49- Dan Johnson. Rebecca Johnson, a widow of Dan Johnson (who passed away in December,) is the GOP nominee for her late husband’s seat. She is running against former Representative Linda Belcher, a Democrat whom Dan Johnson defeated in 2016. Belcher ran also as a widow of the prior office-holder. Her late husband, Rep. Larry Belcher, died in a car accident in 2008.

February 22 Lexington Night in Frankfort at Berry Hill Mansion in Frankfort. Our firm is a cosponsor for the event.

February 27 Special election for House District 89- Marie Radar who resigned for health reasons. Representative Rader served her district since 1997 and was Chair of the Transportation Committee. 

February 27 Deadline to file New House Bills

March 1 Deadline to file New Senate Bills 

Week in Review January 22 – February 26

Governor Bevin and top officials diverted their attention to Marshall County and Benton, Ky. in the wake of a tragic school shooting. We know this community well from many years back, numerous visits to the lakes region, and representation of a tremendous company, Westlake Chemical in Calvert City, Marshall County. Governor Bevin’s remarks were broadcast on Facebook Live and other media, while the talk in Frankfort shifts from state financial problems to the unimaginable grief.

Marsy’s Law passed through the legislature in the form of a constitutional amendment for the Nov. 6 General Election.  The measure would expand the rights of victims of crime.  It’s been 12 years since an amendment appeared on the ballot. The consensus is that there could be the second amendment this year concerning the election of state officials during the even-numbered Presidential cycle starting in 2024. The idea behind this is that voting in an odd-numbered year for Governor (for instance) results in more state spending.  Other amendments have been proposed, including expanded gaming, a discussion that has lingered for years.

A handful of legislators put on aprons at the 1st Annual ‘Serving Up Solutions dinner sponsored by Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, and the Kentucky Association of Food Banks. This event allowed legislators to check partisanship at the door and raise money for hungry Kentuckians across the Commonwealth. We are privileged to represent KAFB, which is our pro bono client? 

Recently In The News

Article: 477 pain pills for every person in Kentucky. Lawsuit charges drug maker flooded Kentucky.

Article: Bourbon Tourists numbered over 1.2 million wonderful guests in 2017. 

Resources 

The Session Calendar and the Committee Schedule are great to bookmark. We’ll monitor Committees for you as bills pertaining to your issues come through. 

Our team will continue to send weekly reports to share top stories and any information that may be helpful. See our Facebook and Twitter pages for real-time updates. 

Willard / Bob / Julie / Lauren 

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